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Buck tradition to unearth fresh ideas

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

After 30 years in the advertising business, Rick Segal understands how to maximize employees’ creativity: Give up-and-coming stars a chance to shine.

At gyro, a Cincinnati-based ad agency where Segal served as president, he led his team to design a campaign for Scotsman Ice Systems, a maker of ice cube machines. He called upon the “gyro Academy,” a group of promising new hires dedicated to bringing fresh perspectives to creative challenges.

Instead of suggesting a traditional campaign built around running print ads in professional journals and setting up booths at trade shows, the Academy hotshots looked to social media.

Through their online research, they discovered a Facebook community of ice lovers. These individuals raved about their love of chewable ice nuggets produced by Scotsman equipment.

Thrilled to find a cluster of online fans, the Academy crew introduced a “Love the Nug!” slogan to promote Scotsman. More than 40,000 Facebook “likes” later, they’ve won over ice chewers who have embraced the “Love the Nug!” campaign.

Thanks to Segal’s willingness to let these young minds run wild, gyro successfully courted an online community of potential customers and raised the visibility of its client’s products.

— Adapted from Rookie Smarts, Liz Wiseman, Harper Business.

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